Publish A Coloring Book: How to Illustrate and Sell Your Book Online | Molly Suber Thorpe | Skillshare

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Publish A Coloring Book: How to Illustrate and Sell Your Book Online

teacher avatar Molly Suber Thorpe, Calligrapher & Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

38 Lessons (1h 42m)
    • 1. Welcome!

    • 2. Unit I – Tools for Digital Art

    • 3. Unit I – Tools for Analogue Art

    • 4. Unit I – Tools for Publishing

    • 5. Unit I – Downloadable Resources

    • 6. Unit II – Choosing A Theme

    • 7. Unit II – Audience

    • 8. Unit II – Scalability

    • 9. Unit II – Marketability

    • 10. Unit II – Inspiration

    • 11. Unit II – Seven Theme Ideas

    • 12. Unit II – The Public Domain

    • 13. Unit III – Canvas Setup in Procreate

    • 14. Unit III – Sketch Your First Page

    • 15. Unit III – Ink The Outlines

    • 16. Unit III – Fill In The Gaps

    • 17. Unit III – My Designs

    • 18. Unit III – Bonus Illustration Elements

    • 19. Unit III – Title Page Illustration

    • 20. Unit III – Exporting Digital Art

    • 21. Unit III – Scanning Hand Drawn Art

    • 22. Unit III – Color Your Cover Art

    • 23. Unit III – Title Lettering

    • 24. Unit IV – Interior Layout Pages

    • 25. Unit IV – Interior Title Page

    • 26. Unit IV – Interior Copyright Page

    • 27. Unit IV – Interior Intro Page

    • 28. Unit IV – Interior End Page

    • 29. Unit IV – Export Interior for Print

    • 30. Unit V – Create A Cover Template

    • 31. Unit V – Design The Front Cover

    • 32. Unit VI – Design The Back Cover

    • 33. Unit VI – Upload and Publish!

    • 34. Unit VI – Publication Next Steps

    • 35. Unit VI – Add Book to Categories

    • 36. Unit VI – Amazon Marketing FAQs

    • 37. The Big Reveal (Time to Celebrate!)

    • 38. Now Share Your Work!

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About This Class

Are you looking for a fun way to earn money from your illustrations? Have you ever wanted to publish a book? 

In this comprehensive course, I’m teaching you how to combine the two in a creative, profitable project: your very own coloring book. You’ll learn my entire design process from start to finish. By the final lesson, you will have published a beautiful book that you can sell and share with the world!

I’ll teach you how to:

• Choose a theme for your illustrations and gather inspiration
• Draw full-page line art with the right margins and specs for printing and selling
• Lay out your designs as a book in easy-to-use, free software
• Design an eye-catching cover that will attract buyers
• Self-publish your coloring book and start selling it immediately!




Self-publishing coloring books is not only creatively fulfilling, but it’s a fun way to earn real money from your artwork, too.

There’s a big market for coloring books, for both children and adults, so I’m sharing all the skills and nitty gritty technical details I’ve learned since I started publishing and selling my own.


This class is for all artists, whether you prefer digital illustration or pen and ink!

So long as you have the tools to draw black and white line art, whether that’s with pen and ink or digitally on your iPad or computer, you can publish your very own coloring book – and much more easily than I bet you imagine. I’m using the Procreate app for iPad to create my artwork in class, but you can follow along using any art-making tools you like, including good old pen and ink.


➤ About Me

I’m Molly Suber Thorpe. I’ve been a professional hand lettering artist and teacher for the past twelve years. I have a particular passion for teaching because I simply love helping other artists hone their skills, opening doors to new creative opportunities and profitable freelance careers. 

As a Top Teacher here on the Skillshare platform, I offer lots of classes about calligraphy, typography, Procreate, Adobe Photoshop, and creative freelancing. Check out my other classes.

You might also be interested in…



➤ Links & Resources

You can find a much longer, downloadable version of this list under the Projects & Resources tab.

Layout Design:

• Sign up for a free Canva account

Publishing with Amazon KDP:

• Register for a free Amazon KDP account
• KDP Cover Template Generator
• KDP Printing Cost & Royalty Calculator
• Amazon KDP Help Center

Public Domain Image Sources:

• CC0 Public Domain Details
• RawPixel
• Wikimedia Commons

Optional Book Marketing Resources:

• Amazon Author Central
• Amazon A+ Content
• ISBNs from Bowker

My Procreate Symmetry Tutorials (for patterns, mandalas, and mirrored art):

• Border Illustration in Procreate: Symmetry Guides for Beautiful Art (Skillshare)
• Procreate for Absolute Beginners (Skillshare; skip to lesson 30)
• YouTube Symmetry Guide Tutorials (YouTube playlist)

Tools I Use in Class:

• SmudgeGuard Touchscreen Glove (1-finger style)
• Procreate App
• iPad Pro, 12.9-inch, 4th Generation
• Apple Pencil, 2nd Generation
• Read about my iPad recommendations and essential accessories


Book Page Template Margins:

It’s best to download and use the page margin template files from the Resources section of this class. (And your custom cover template can be downloaded here.) But if you need the exact illustration page dimensions that I recommend, they are as follows:

• U.S. Letter Coloring Page Template: Paper size: 8.5 x 11 in; Artwork area: 6.75 x 9.75 in.

• A4 Coloring Page Template: Paper size: 21 x 29.7 cm; Artwork area: 16.5 x 26.5 cm

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Molly Suber Thorpe

Calligrapher & Designer

Top Teacher

I design custom lettering for brands and individuals, Procreate brushes for artists, fonts for designers, and freelancing tools for creatives. I’m the author of four books for lettering artists and teach the craft both online and in person.



I’m lucky to have worked with some awesome clients over the years, including Google Arts & Culture, Martha Stewart, Fendi, and Michael Kors. My work and words have been featured in such publications as The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Martha Stewart Weddings, LA Times, and Buzzfeed.

I love connecting with my students so please please share your projects with me. If you do so on Instagram, tag me with @mollysuberthorpe so I’m sure to see it!&nb... See full profile

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1. Welcome!: [MUSIC] Welcome to Designing a Coloring Book from start to finish. I'm Molly Suber Thorpe and I've been a professional hand lettering artist and designer for the past 12 years. I recently started designing and self-publishing coloring books as a fun side project. Unexpectedly, they became some of the most enjoyable projects I've worked on in a long time. Today, I'm teaching you my entire process from start to finish. By the end of class, you will have actually published your very own physical coloring book and you'll be all set to sell it on Amazon, if you so choose. Designing and selling coloring books is not only creatively fulfilling, but it's a fun way to earn real money from your art work as well. There's a huge market for coloring books, for both children and adults. I've learned a lot since I started publishing and selling my own. I love helping other artists. In this class, I'm sharing all the tips and skills that I've picked up along the way. So long as you have the tools to draw black and white line art, whether that's with pen and ink or digitally on your iPad or computer, you can publish your very own coloring book too, and much more easily than I bet you imagine. To start, I'll share my process for choosing a theme for your coloring book illustrations and researching to gather inspiration. Then I'll teach you how to draw a line art coloring pages with all the specific considerations for printing and selling them. Finally, you will learn how to easily lay out your designs as a book, make a simple cover, and publish your book as a print on demand products you can sell to the world or give as gifts to friends. I'm so excited you're here, and now let's get started. 2. Unit I – Tools for Digital Art: These next three videos will cover the various tools you'll need for digital drawing, analog drawing, and book production. If you'll be following along in class doing digital illustration, then all you need are a software and hardware you're already most comfortable using. For me, that will be the Procreate app combined with my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. You could use Affinity Designer or Adobe Photoshop on the iPad, or use a desktop computer running Adobe Photoshop Illustrator or Affinity. Really, any digital art-making program will do so long as you can draw in it comfortably. I will also recommend printing out your designs on a home printer before publishing the book, just to make sure that the scale and line weights look right. When working on a screen zooming in and out, it can be hard to have a sense of the true scale of your designs so for that reason, access to a printer is also an important tool. 3. Unit I – Tools for Analogue Art: If you're going to be using pen and ink, make sure to have a couple of black pens with medium thickness nibs. I prefer felt tip pens that creates smooth, even lines of medium thickness. You don't want super fine hair, but you also don't want lines that are so thick, they will dominate your work once it's colored. For paper, select either US letter size or A4 size, as these are the two standard coloring book dimensions used internationally. Choose smooth, bright white paper. Don't use textured paper because that can make an uneven colored background when you scan it. Honestly, high-quality, smooth white printer paper like I have here, works wonderfully. The next tool is entirely optional. If you will be tracing images for your coloring book, you will probably want a light pad. You can find very good ones at affordable prices from art supply stores and online. The one I have here is USB powered with three LED brightness settings, and it's extremely lightweight and portable. I use my light box for lots of different types of work and couldn't live without it. If you don't have one though and still want to do tracing, taping your art to a sunny window is a classic method that never fails. Finally, you'll need a scanner to bring your finished artwork into the computer. Nearly any scanner will work for this because nowadays all scanners can capture images at 300 DPI, which is the resolution you will need to make your art print ready. 4. Unit I – Tools for Publishing: The next set of tools apply, whether you draw your illustrations digitally or with ink on paper. To lay out the pages of the book, you will need a computer, internet connection and any program that allows you to make a multi-page document, insert images onto those pages, and save as a PDF. That's it. Seriously. You can use professional layout design software like Adobe InDesign or you can use a free app like Canva. Yes, even the free subscription of Canva gives you all the tools you will need. I'm going to show you how later. to self-publish our coloring book, we're going to use Amazon self-publishing service, Amazon KDP. With this platform, you can publish, print and e-books entirely for free and distribute them around the world. There are a number of self-publishing companies out there and I've actually tried most of them. I like KDP for this project for lots of reasons. But primarily because you can self-publish completely for free without spending any money at all, Their interface is easy to use. Their paper and book size options work well for coloring books and they will distribute your book globally with just the click of a button. To set up a free account on the key platform, simply go to and either login using your existing Amazon account or create a free account. I recommend that you set up this account now rather than when we get to that point in the class, just so that you have everything up and running when the time comes. 5. Unit I – Downloadable Resources: Before we dive in, here's a quick note about the downloadable resources that come with this class. To help you with various stages of the design and publishing process, I have included a number of free tools. None of them are mandatory, but they may help along the way. I will introduce each tool as they come up, but the most important ones are a handful of page layout templates. Take a moment and find that downloads section located in the projects and resources tab under this video. If you can't find it and you're on a mobile device, please try accessing the course page through a browser window, as opposed to the app, or on a desktop, or laptop computer. 6. Unit II – Choosing A Theme: Here's where the fun begins. To start, you will need to pick a theme for your coloring books illustrations. The sky's the limit here and as with many creative endeavors, narrowing down the concept can be the hardest part. I'll share with you how I go about gathering inspiration as well as a bunch of ideas to get you started. You may be making a coloring book for yourself with images that are personal to you like inside jokes or images that relate to your life milestones. But if you're making a coloring book for other people to use, it should have a theme that holds the illustrations together with a common thread that buyers can easily grasp. But first, a note, if you are a beginner, if illustration isn't your forte yet, let me start by saying, join the club. I still feel like lettering and graphic design are my real skills and drawing is more like a hobby. I had my fair share of imposter syndrome moments when I started incorporating illustrations into my work. If you're just starting out in illustration and that's your main worry here, don't worry. You can absolutely do this. I'm not here to be a gatekeeper of who can be an illustrator. I believe projects like this one are accessible to anyone and they're having fun and enjoying the process is what activity books are all about anyway. 7. Unit II – Audience: In choosing the theme of your book, let's start by talking about your audience. The theme of your coloring book will need to take into consideration whether you're designing this for adults, children or both. Adult coloring books tend to have much more intricate drawings, although they certainly don't have to. They also can have themes that young kids wouldn't understand or appreciate, like humorous cartoons or political commentary. If you're looking to make simple illustrations with a fun theme, then that could be suitable for children or marketable for all ages. I recommend this approach if you don't have a lot of experience yet creating artwork as part of a series. You don't want to dive into very intricate drawings yet, or you want to be able to put together your first coloring book pretty quickly. 8. Unit II – Scalability: Let's now talk about scalability. Your theme will need to be broad enough that you can draw at least 20 related full-page illustrations. Twenty would make a smallish coloring book, which may be a great place to start. But just so you know, according to my very unscientific research, the average adult coloring book has 25-50 illustrations. While a niche topic can certainly work, you just want to make sure in advance that you can get at least 20 different illustrations out of it. For example, a theme like animals has almost endless possibilities. It's easy to think of 20 different animals without even having to think creatively. So it's probably a little too broad. Whereas something more specific, like lions in hats or llamas in sweaters requires more creativity in your variations. Probably also means you'll need to be a more confident artist to create 20 or more completely different drawings of lions wearing hats or llamas wearing sweaters in various poses and settings. Do keep scalability in mind as we dive further into choosing your book's theme. 9. Unit II – Marketability: Now, onto the consideration of marketability. If this is your first coloring book, I recommend that you worry less about what will sell than about what you're inspired to create. This is a sizable project, so you don't want to choose a theme or illustration style that you're not motivated to follow through on and finish. Choose something you know you will enjoy making in an illustration style that you're either already good at or are at least excited to improve upon. I also want to remind you that you absolutely do not have to have a goal to sell this book. There are so many ways that this type of project can be done for personal reasons. For example, designing a custom coloring book for guests at an event such as a unique favor at a wedding or kid's birthday party. Designing a custom coloring book for a family reunion with one illustration about each family member would also be fun. What about a coloring book that serves as a piece of branding or marketing material for yourself or another business? There are many types of businesses that could use a coloring book as a fun bit of swag to give away to customers. Imagine a cafe having a coloring book of their signature dishes that would serve as a memorable bit of marketing for their restaurant. You should also know that using the Amazon KDP publishing tool allows you to purchase your own author copies at a severely discounted rate. We're talking $2 to $4 per book depending on its length because Amazon only charges you the actual cost of printing. 10. Unit II – Inspiration: Let's go back to assuming that you want to sell your finished coloring book and are still looking for some killer inspiration. You can of course, browse bookstores or go on Amazon to see what kinds of coloring books are already popular and what stands out to you. But don't let yourself fall into a trap of questioning and ideas value just because you don't see anything like it on the market yet. That can be a good thing. Just because no one has thought of it, doesn't mean no one would like it. Likewise, if you discover that your theme idea is already really popular, making the competition to fierce, consider adding a twist to your idea that would make it more unique or stand out. For example, add a humorous twist or combine it with a secondary theme. 11. Unit II – Seven Theme Ideas: I'll now be sharing some concrete theme ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Feel free to use any or all of these ideas or tweak them to suit your fancy. But first, a very important side note, I'm sure this goes without saying, but steer clear of topics and themes that are copyrighted. For example, you cannot legally draw a Lion King coloring book because that would infringe on Disney's intellectual property. Just make sure that your idea is original and doesn't draw on trademarked themes or copyrighted artwork. However, I will tell you later about how to find public domain images you can draw upon, which are completely copyright-free. Theme idea number 1, patterns. These are not only popular for adult coloring books, but from a drawing standpoint, they're also very beginner friendly. Some great resources of pattern inspiration are old wallpaper, fabric, ceramic tiles, and stained glass. Patterns can be made of geometric shapes or organic ones like flowers, they can be really intricate or very simple. Here are some coloring book designs I made loosely based on wallpaper patterns of William Morris. All of his designs are out of copyright and in the public domain now. I based my drawings off of cropped areas from his prints and added even more lines and small detail to make for extremely intricate line art patterns. In a related vain to patterns would be mandalas. These are radial designs, often geometric, that are as meditative to make as they are to color in. If you're using Procreate for iPad and you want to create symmetrical mandalas or patterns, I actually have a whole Skillshare class about using Procreate symmetry guides, and I have some free YouTube tutorials about them as well, so I'll link those in the description too. Theme number 2, geography. Pick a geographical region and draw one type of item from that area, such as flowers of the Pacific Northwest, or birds of South Africa, or cathedrals of France. You could even pick your own city, look around you and draw architecture, fauna, or important people from the place that you live. Travel posters are also a great example. There are a ton of vintage examples out there, many from the turn of the 20th century, and most of which are now in the public domain. They generally follow the theme of a simple drawing of a landmark, landscape, or fun local activity. I used to live in the American Southwest and have always had an affinity for the desert. Here's a book of desert landscapes I designed, which was one of the first coloring books I published when I already loved drawing, but I was still learning to become more confident in my skill. Theme number 3, nature. Here I'm talking butterflies, flowers, or other intricate beauties found in nature, all of which can make for great themes. Especially as a beginner, when you pick a niche theme like this, you can make lots of variations without too much practice. For instance, you can draw 40 butterflies just by changing up the shapes of the wings and the patterns that fill them in. There are of course also countless flowers out there with very intricate petals, leaves, and shapes, and you can easily find reference photos of flowers online. Here's a book I designed of floral bouquets. I put each bouquet inside of an ornate border so that the designs looked even more polished. Theme number 4, everyday objects. Something that's very fun and that has really simple reference images are the items around you. Whenever I'm at a loss of what to draw, I look to things around me to get my ink flowing and it always helps. For example, draw a series of jam jars or paint tubes or cereal boxes with your own fun twist. Draw what's on your desk, like a grouping of stationery supplies. You could make these up from your imagination or use real products found in your home. You could even add a retro twist like these drawings I made of objects from my childhood in the early '90s. Here's one coloring book I made, which I call a coloring book of comfy cozy things. I just drew items around my house that I love and that make me happy or represent my daily life. While these items may seem desperate on their own, they work together on the cohesive theme of life at home. You can probably imagine what year and time period this particular theme popped into my mind. Theme number 5, fashion. Fashion is always a popular theme. I used to love playing paper dolls with my grandmother and I have great memories of those books of patterned dresses. Consider drawing your own paper doll book, but marketing it for coloring and not for cutting out, or consider picking a single fashion item like shoes or dresses or hats and draw 20 or more different styles of that item with intricate details. Here's a coloring book I made where I looked at vintage French fashion plates from the early 1900. These are all also in the public domain and completely copyright-free. Theme number 6, the holidays. Even the most cursory research of popular coloring books on the market yields a huge subcategory for holiday-themed books. These tend to be more for children than adults, but certainly not exclusively. If you're focused on marketability, then just remember that these books have seasonal popularity, but sometimes that popularity is huge over just a short period of the year. My own research shows that in the US market at least, Christmas and Easter are probably the biggest holiday themes for children's coloring books. Theme number 7, quotes and lettering. If you're like me and you feel at home with hand lettering, create some big hand lettering compositions drawn as line art. Look for inspiration in sign painting, vintage posters, graffiti, neon signs, and all types of exemplar books. Mix up the illustrations in the book between script and bold print lettering. Rather than a single letter style, the unifying theme here could be the messages themselves, like a book of fun facts or quotes. You could even draw really ornate alphabets or drop caps, one for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. I did this in my very first coloring book, Decorative Alphabets. I made this book to help lettering artists learn and practice ornate lettering styles while also providing a relaxing coloring experience. In that sense, it was for both coloring and learning. 12. Unit II – The Public Domain: Now I'll share some ways that you can research public domain images to use as inspiration for your illustrations. Before I show you how to find them, I just want to cover the main public domain designation that I look for. There are lots and lots of Creative Commons and public domain designations. Some of them require attribution. It can be complicated. For that reason, and because of course, I would never want to disrespect an artist or accidentally infringe on copyright, I always look for the most liberal of them all, which is the CC0 designation. Works with this designation mean that it is completely in the public domain. You can copy them, modify them, distribute them, without even modifying them for commercial purposes without even asking permission. Now, to be clear, I don't find public domain images for the purpose of simply republishing them. I find them to use as inspiration, sometimes to trace bits and pieces and merge them with other line art and stuff that I've created. But nonetheless, I seek out the CC0 designation for absolutely zero copyright infringement. The first site to show you is called This is a place where you can browse public domain and copyrighted images. You have to make sure to come over to their public domain section. They have a really beautifully laid out so that you can browse visually. Let's come to this album. I like to just make sure over here that I'm still in the public domain section. You can come over and make sure as well that you can download them for free under the Creative Commons 0 license. Again, that zero license is what I always look for. I think these are just really beautiful patterns and illustrations. Next up, I'll show you that lots and lots of libraries and museums around the world have started to go to great effort to digitize their collections and make them free to the world in the public domain. One place that I love to come to is the New York Public Library, but places like the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress and so, so many others also offer this service. Let's say that I come in here and I put in children's book illustration, then I make sure to search only public domain material. I can see that already a lot of cute illustrations come up that are very simple, but they have actually an album of aggregated children's book illustrations. Let me click in here. I can see lots of very detailed illustrations that might be a good starting point for my inspiration. I can also come down here and see the artist's name and click that to get you in more illustrations in the same exact style. Next up is the Internet Archive, or just This is definitely the most powerful of all of the tools, but it's also the most difficult to use in the sense that it really helps if you already know exactly what you're looking for. I could just find images by Walter Crane. If I search Walter Crane exactly now, I will be able to pull up entire books of his work in high resolution, in various versions, from various dates. While does have individual images, what they really are good at is entire books. If I come over to media type and I hit Texts, that's the way to filter. Just for books, I should note that Internet Archive compiles both copyrighted and public domain images. There's a very easy way though to know whether something is in public domain, but you have to click it first or have a really in-depth understanding of what dates you're looking for. But let's forget about the dates thing for now. Let me just scroll through here. This looks pretty, the Sleeping Beauty. Let's click and see what that's like. Before I even browse the book, I can come all the way down and look at its copyright status. This is in the public domain, no longer under copyright protection. If we come to thumbnail view, we can see that there are a lot of beautiful illustrations here. Which again, could be a nice starting point for a coloring book. Another thing though that archive is really good at is suggesting related works. Once you find one diamond in the rough like this, if you come to the bottom, you can find even more. Let's click on this Frog prints. These are really sweet. I can see some of these being turned into coloring book pages or having elements of them turned into coloring book pages. I admit that. When I come to, I feel like I fall down a rabbit hole. I can stay on this website for hours and hours. You can find some of the coolest stuff here, coloring book or not. You can find amazing vintage resources, really cool books you may never even have come across. I highly recommend that you bookmark this page for whatever purpose you plan to use it. The last one that I'll show you is Wikimedia Commons. This is of course related to Wikipedia, but it specifically searches works that are in the Creative Commons designation. Let's do a search here for an actual genre or era of art. Let's type in Art Deco. Now I can filter the license with no restrictions. That is the CC0 designation. I can scroll through here. Sometimes it's hard to find illustrations on this page. Sometimes you lock out and find them immediately. But it can help to refine your search up here. Now these are a lot of nice illustrations. We have beautiful illustrations of vintage fashion, all of which could be a great starting point for illustrations. Here I searched butterfly and I get a bunch of really cool vintage illustrations of butterflies, a lot of photos as well. But sticking with illustrations is hugely more inspiring to me. Well, I hope that this gives you a great start in finding some illustration inspiration. 13. Unit III – Canvas Setup in Procreate: I'm here in Procreate, but as I've said many times, you could be in any design software or just using a piece of paper. But here in Procreate, I will create a new file for myself and set it to inches, and I'll set it to my full paper size, 8.5 by 11. For DPI, if your iPad is small or it doesn't allow for a lot of layers, set this to 300 DPI, which is the minimum. I like to set it to 500 simply because then I can enlarge it without fear of pixelation later should I ever need to or want to, then hit "Create." Now I have a canvas the size of my full paper. But I need to know what the margins are going to be of my printed book so that when I draw my illustrations, they're only going to fit in that space. Remember I have that template available in the resources section of this class so you can download it. But I've also included the actual margin dimensions in the description so that should you want to make your own or you need to, you can do that as well. I'm coming up here to add a photo and I'm pulling it off my camera roll. Now because I had mine at 500 DPI, it's a bit smaller than my canvas. That doesn't make a difference. I'm just going to stretch it out to the full size of my canvas. Now you can see I have these pink borders here that really allow for me to know exactly where my illustration goes. You'll also notice that the left margin is quite a bit wider than the right and that's because this side is the side that goes into the binding of the book. This is one of my finished coloring books where I used that same margin and you can see that optically the margins do look the same now, and that's because that little bit of extra space on the left margin gets sucked into the binding, that's called the gutter. You have to allow for that in your original designs so that in the end it will look like even margins. Again, this pink area is what we're drawing our illustrations in and the rest we're leaving blank. You can reduce the opacity of this if you like. Now I'm going to keep this in the back and I'm actually going to lock mine by swiping left and hitting "Lock." That I just makes sure that I don't accidentally draw on it, resize it, delete it, whatever. This will always stay in the back and all the new layers I make are going to go above it. 14. Unit III – Sketch Your First Page: I like to start by sketching. I have a lot of pencils that I like, but you can use any pencil brush or sketching brush that you want. I think that this particular design that I'm going to do is going to have a lot of full vegetables in it. I'm thinking I'm going to draw a bunch of vegetables here and then resize them, reposition them to fill up the screen or fill up that pink area. My process is to draw really loosely because I'm just getting a general sense of size, spacing, all of that. I keep things really simple here because then later when I actually go over it and trace it, that's when I really like to refine. I'm just doing a little onion here. I think just a bunch of root vegetables that I think go with my autumn theme. Now I'm going to put each sketch on its own layer, and that's so that later it's going to be really easy for me to move each one around and resize it. Because if I put them all on the same layer, then I'll have to select each one, and they might overlap. It's just much easier if you keep each element of the coloring book illustration on its own layer. Now of course, if you're drawing a single illustration to fill the space, that'll be different for you. But I sometimes like to make little elements that all fit together. I think I'll do a pair now, and I'll add maybe a cute little element here, make this a heart instead of a more rounded shape. [MUSIC] Now, onto a new layer when I like how that sketch looked. All right, I've got a little eggplant. New layer. Maybe I'll do some asparagus. Now, one thing to keep in mind that is very important is that when you're drawing your coloring book illustrations, they have to all include enclosed shapes. You can't draw a shape like that because nobody will be able to color it in. Everything has to be enclosed. Sometimes these are not enclosed shapes, but these are just going to be a little outlines that people will color over, and it adds a little bit of detail. 15. Unit III – Ink The Outlines: I spent a while drawing a bunch more vegetables. As I went, I rearrange them with each other and resized them so they were a little bit more in proportion. I didn't worry too much about the proportions though. If you look here in my layer palette, you can see that each of the illustrations are on their own layer, so I was able to easily move them around and resize them. For example, if I select the apple, I was able to move around the apple, re-size it. In fact, maybe we'll move it a little bit more that way. I can come in and tweak things, like now I can move the radish slightly like this maybe. Then this chestnut maybe move it down a bit. I put a few chestnuts in, so I'll just turn these on and off until I find the one that I made. There, of course, the last one. I just go through it generally and makes sure I like my composition. So I have a few asparagus here, some corn, mushroom, pumpkin, bell peppers. So far I'm happy with this. The first thing I'm going to do is just group these altogether. If I swipe right here in Procreate, I can select them all, and then I can hit "Group" and I can collapse that group. Of course, in programs like Photoshop, it's a lot easier to select a lot of layers and group them. But if you're using Photoshop, it probably means you know how to use it already. So I don't have to tell you how to group layers. I'm actually going to, I think flattened this group in fact, because I don't think I'm going have to move it around much more. I'll tap it once and hit "Flatten" and now this whole thing is one layer. I can reduce the opacity by tapping on that n. I want to make it really light because I'm going to now trace it. Make sure to trace it on a blank layer. Make sure that you're on solid black. To do that in Procreate, you can actually double tap right here in the black region and your color palette will snap to pure black. That just makes it a lot easier to make sure you aren't accidentally drawing in gray or something like that. I have included in the resources a Procreate brush that I use. But in Photoshop, any monoline brush would work. In affinity, again, any monoline brush. Since I use Procreate, I thought I would give away to you the brush that I generally use. Now we'll just do a little bit of testing and see if I like the size of the stroke. Maybe I will make it a little bit thinner. This brush is not exactly purely monoline. I call it almost monoline because I can actually slightly adjust it for a more organic monoline look. This is the maximum thickness it goes and this is the minimum. It's a very slight variation. But I like it that that looks honestly more like a felt tip pen and ink drawings. I'll just start here and outline starting from the top. I find this particular process pretty meditative because at this point I'm not thinking about what I'm drawing and it's almost as meditative as a coloring book itself. I think I'm going to put each of these on its own layer just so that we have a situation where I can easily adjust them again later should I choose. Like I said, sometimes I put these little details here that aren't meant to be colored in, but when someone colors over them they'll add a little bit of depth or dimension or detail to the finished product. [MUSIC] There I have my finished outlines of the primary illustrations. You can see here that there is still a lot of negative space and that's what we're going to get to in the next lesson. 16. Unit III – Fill In The Gaps: Now let's address these negative spaces. Sometimes you can add more coloring images here, more enclosed spaces. First though, make sure you're on your own new layer. For example, you can add little hearts or circles, triangles, anything like that that people could keep coloring in. In this particular image I think that's going to be a little bit distracting. I'm just going to make some non-colorable items like some little flourishes that fill up the space. You can even make your flourishes come right up to this pink and that is going to ultimately give the sensation that this is a cohesive image, that it has a squarish type of shape. I like that because it makes each coloring page really look like a whole page. I'm just going to go around and I'm going to do this in a lot of the negative spaces. I'm not going to be too concerned about filling everything completely, but I will just add enough so that there aren't any blank spots that really pop out to the eye. [MUSIC] You can see that so far it already looks very filled in. Those coloring spaces are the negative spaces now, so people will be drawn to where to color in. I admit that as a calligrapher I may be a little bit biased toward flourish shapes. But I just always feel like they add a little bit of whimsy if you do them in one type of way. Or they can add a lot of elegance if you do them in another. It's my go-to all purpose decoration. I would say that this is done now. You can see that I kept my flourishes really simple, but I did orient them so that they filled all of that negative space. The final composition fits perfectly into the pink border and has a very squared off look. 17. Unit III – My Designs: Now I'll show you some other designs that I also made for the book. This one is just a bunch of fall leaves. You're going to see that instead of flourishes on this one, I made a lot of dots. These dots fill in the negative spaces. One way that I do this in Procreate is that I use a dotted line brush and you can easily get one of those or you can create dots with any monoline pen by just dotting your Apple pencil around the screen. Here's another that I made and this one has a theme where I was thinking like at my desk working from home, we've got a little calendar, some candy and sweets of course, my laptop, notebook, art supplies, pens, coffee, things like that. I decided to fill in the negative spaces here with these little circles. Those are ones that can of course be colored in. I also added little details like these paperclips which cannot be colored in, but they were completely appropriate to the theme. I just put a few of them around to fill up more negative space. This one was a fall night theme, was thinking like a raven in the forest. I put a lot of feathers in and then I filled in the negative space mostly with stars. We have stars of various shapes and little circular stars, branches coming down, leaves, moon, cloud. I really made this one less about various objects scattered around the screen and more about one cohesive image. This one was breakfast or eating-themed. I've got my classic fall breakfast, pancakes, maple syrup, I've got jam, tea, a good book, coffee maker of course, I've got some hot cocoa with marshmallows. I filled in the negative space on this one with hearts. This one's theme was a rainy fall morning. I've got my umbrella, purse, nice bagel and cream cheese, coffee to go, croissant, got my little raincoat, camera. Just anything that seemed appropriate for going out on a nice crisp fall day. For the negative spaces, I filled them in with some falling leaves and I put these flourishes in to make it look like the leaves are falling. It looked like the movement and their path, but then because it had a rainy day theme, I put in these raindrops shapes to fill in all the rest of the negative space. I used two elements for the negative space here, flourishes and raindrops. Here we've got another scene that is a complete image rather than different elements with negative space in-between. There was still negative space on this image, but the primary element is this tree. Then I've got some Halloween themes going on here, some ghosts, some bats. I've got a black cat or not black yet, but I envision it as being colored in black. This was a night-time theme. I filled in the negative space with more dots, but also abstracted star shapes. I've got this star and round stars. 18. Unit III – Bonus Illustration Elements: When we get to the coloring book layout itself, you're going to see that on some of the pages that are not coloring pages like the title page, copyright page. I like to include tiny little elements that come from the coloring pages and bring the theme of the coloring book into the more boring blank pages. I made a copy of this. I'm not working with the original because I'm actually going to destroy all the rest of the image. I just want to pull out this acorn branch. First, I'm going to make sure that I'm on my actual art layer. Then using the selection tool, I will draw around this particular item. Then I'll say copy paste. Now when my layers palette, I can turn off the background and I see that I have just this acorn branch. I'm actually going to delete the background now too. I'll come in with my eraser to just clean up this little bit that was still connected. Now we have this acorn branch by itself. I'm going to come up to actions, canvas, crop and resize. I'll just crop loosely around it so that I don't have a lot of blank space. Now when I go to export the pages, which I'll do in a moment, I'll be able to have this as its own separate illustration as well. I'll do that a few times with various images just to give me some options of smaller illustrations that I can experiment with and play around when I eventually go to the layout process. If you drew your illustration pages by hand, you can simply trace new versions of the small elements you like and scan them in separately. 19. Unit III – Title Page Illustration: Now, I'm going to just think about my title page. I want to have a page when people open the book that has the title of the book inside of it, but a cute coloring image behind it. Basically, I'm going to put a big white box over this to make a space where the title will go. I like this image. I've decided I'm actually going to use it for the cover, and I'll show you how to make that in a moment. But let me just start by taking this so that it repeats the cover and put a nice little shape in here. On a blank layer, I'll come up to my same monoline pen that I used before. I think I'll actually reduce the opacity of the artwork temporarily. Now, I could just draw a big ellipse. You can draw a rough shape in Procreate and then hold it and you've snapped to an image and you can come up to Edit Shape and now you can actually tweak the shape itself. I think for myself, I'm going to want a slightly fancier frame, but I'll have to play around with that. But you can come in to your image and then drag and drop a color. Now that this is filled in, we can come over to white by actually just double tapping over near the white. Now we get pure white and I can drag and drop the white on top of the black and it recolors it easily. Now if I turn back on my image, I can see that I now have a nice, cute little blank space there. I can even slightly resize it, enlarge it, move it around, and just have fun with it. Just make sure it's roughly centered over your image. 20. Unit III – Exporting Digital Art: Now it's time to export all of our artwork into print ready files that we'll be able to drag and drop into our layout file. If you're in Photoshop, you'll have each image open individually and you'll be able to do a Save As to save them as JPEGs. You can even save them as transparent PNG files if you just turn off the background, but I'll leave that to you to figure out. Like I said, Photoshop is the slightly more advanced option, but with whatever software you're using, we just need to have these as JPEG files at the very least. So they need to be JPEGs at full resolution. To do that quickly in Procreate, I can actually just hit "Select", and then I can drag my pen over all of the images that I want to export. Now when I have them all selected, I'll just hit "Share" up here and share as a JPEG. Now I personally like to AirDrop them over to my computer, but you can definitely also save them to Google Drive or Dropbox if you have that connected, or iCloud. Whatever way that you want to get this onto your computer, that's where you're going to place them. 21. Unit III – Scanning Hand Drawn Art: The process for scanning hand-drawn artwork is really quite simple. Your scanner settings will probably look a little bit different from mine, but the general techniques still apply. So far, this is just a preview of my scan. I put this in the flatbed of my scanner, not the feeder because the flatbed makes sure that it stays perfectly flat. You do want to select black and white rather than color. For resolution, set this to 300 DPI. Next, we want to make sure that it scans our actual paper size. I have an option here to scan a US letter size, which is my paper size. If I didn't, there should be a button that says use a custom size or the size of the scanning area, something along those lines. Here's where you can input 8.5 by 11 manually, or in centimeters, you can input the dimensions of A4 paper. Now that I have US letter size selected, I'm just going to make sure that the drawing is roughly centered horizontally on the screen. Scan it as a JPEG. If you have image correction as an option, which most scanners do at this point, I actually manually would set that and I would boost up the contrast so that, that makes sure that the whites are really white and the blacks are really black. You can see the difference already. That's without any correction. That's what boosted contrast. Now I can just scan it. Now here's my scanned piece of artwork. I can zoom in and you can see that it's really high resolution. So long as you scanned it at that 300 DPI setting, you'll be good to go. The scanner preview windows sometimes do make things look really low resolution. Just open up your final image and make sure that it is crisp. I did forget to mention a moment ago that it's also a good idea to wipe down or dust your scanner bed before you do this, just so that no dust or particles actually gets scanned into your image. That'll make sure that it's clean and lint free. This is already saved as a JPEG file, which is all that we need. At this point, you can just scan all the rest of your images and save them together in a folder on your computer. 22. Unit III – Color Your Cover Art: The final step of our drawing process is to actually color in one of our illustrations that we're going to use on the cover as vegetable illustration is maybe one of my favorites and I've chosen it for the cover. One consideration to have when you're choosing which cover image is that remember your title has to be either overlaid on it or you have to create a blank space. Imagine if there are thumbnail size like on Amazon or any selling website, you want people to instantly be able to see what the image is, has to be quickly readable. Some of them that have really small details or that are more niche-specific like my one with craft projects, that speaks to fall for me. In the general context of the book, it feels like a fall activity, but it doesn't really scream autumn the way that this one does. When combined with my title and the subtitle of the book, I really want something that speaks very clearly to my theme and has very concise images that are quickly readable. I like this fall vegetable one for exactly that reason. I have it opened here and first thing I'm going to do is change up my background color. I'm going to select a creamy color. This is obviously easily changeable later. But the reason that I do this toward the beginning is that when I pick the colors of the illustration itself, I want to be able to make sure that those colors work on top of the background color. It might be hard to see on screen, but this is definitely not a crisp white. This is a nice creamy, warm background color. I just want something so that the illustrations pop. I'm not going to go with a background that's dark, even though that could work as an autumn color. But then with the colored images don't really pop off so well. Now you can choose any drawing brushes that you like. I can't even begin to tell you which one to use because absolutely any of them, the sky's the limit. Any of them are going to work. I like to just use a semi translucent brush. You can create transparency on any of your brushes by adjusting the opacity here. The reason I like that is so that when I overlap my colors, they look more like coloring markers where you can see the overlapped parts. I just liked that because it seems realistic to me. One thing you want to make sure to do is to put your coloring layers underneath your outline layer so that the outline layer actually pops and it doesn't look like you've colored over the outlines. Make sure that your outline layers at the top and then go in and just color these. Any colors that you want. Turn on some music, pour some coffee. Just really relax with this. This is ultimately what your coloring book is for. [MUSIC] That took me awhile so let's skip ahead. Here I've colored in all of the vegetables. You can see that I put variations of the same color into each vegetable to give them a little more visual interest. This orange pepper has darker orange and medium orange. The leaves have a few shades of green in them. One quick and easy way in digital software to create variations in color. Let me show you, make a new layer. Remember right underneath your outline layer and come in with white. Come in with a pretty big brush. You can actually paint white streaks that are sort of like highlights and then come into your layer and change the blending mode. You can do this in all drawing software, not just Procreate. We can change this to something like screen, for example, which just has a way of lightning light colors and overlaying them nicely. Then again, we can reduce its opacity. There's very low, like 30, 40 percent here. Now look what happens when I turn it on and off, off, on, off, on. Now, this might even be slightly too high. But if you have a relatively solid color and you want to do that, you can see that it has just a very nice way of adding a highlight in there. That's actually a way to break up solid colors. Here's the layer that I created with all of my highlights so that I can show them to you on and off, on, off. Like I said, I did use multiple color variations already throughout. But then adding that whiteness, it really created even more depth and variation. Now this image is done. I can come up to actions and share, and we can share as a JPEG. Now again, AirDrop it to your computer or save to Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, what have you. 23. Unit III – Title Lettering: If it seems appropriate to the book's theme, I actually like to hand letter the titles. In this case, I did hand letter the title and I just chose them really most amateur looking style that I felt like really went with the design of the theme. I didn't want it to look too polished because I just didn't think that that was very appropriate in terms of matching all the illustrations. I'm just keeping it really simple, whimsical, fun. Now that I'm done drawing it, actually I have it on a canvas that's too large. Let me start by cropping it. Then I can export it. You can export this as a JPEG, but if you do, the background is going to be white. For this particular image, since I want to actually put it on top of other images or have the ability to do so. I don't want the white background. I'm going to save this as a PNG file. Again, if you're in Photoshop or affinity, this is the same principle. Just turn off your background layer and save it as a PNG rather than a JPEG. I have to come in here and turn off the background. Now, it's transparent and it'll do the exact same thing as before share, but instead of choosing JPEG, I just choose right underneath it PNG. Now this is going to save as a transparent file, only the black letters will be part of the image. There will be no background. When I place it on things, you'll be able to see whatever is behind it. 24. Unit IV – Interior Layout Pages: Here I'm in my Canva dashboard and I'm going to hit "Create a design" and then "Custom size". Here's where I will change this to inches and input my size which is 8.5 by 11 inches. Then I'll just say "Create new design". The first thing I want to do is just give this a title so it's not listed as some untitled project in my dashboard. I'll call my Autumn Coloring Book. Then come over here to my Uploads panel. You can see that you can upload from Google Drive or Dropbox or elsewhere. But I'm just going to drag and drop all of my page graphics in here from my computer hard drive. Now, this takes just a quick second, so I'll speed it up. Now everything is uploaded. I'm going to create my very first page. I'm just tapping once on that first image. That image is going to pop up on my canvas and I'm just going to re-size it so it snaps to fit the page perfectly. This is not going to pixelate my image. This is actually the real full size of my image. Canva just placed it on my canvas a little bit smaller. Now using this page as a template, we're just going to add all of the rest. I'll hit this little plus sign button at the top of the page to duplicate it, and I'll immediately be taken to that duplicate page, which you can see as page number 2. Then I'll take my next design and simply drag and drop it over the previous one and repeat. Duplicate the page, drag and drop the next design. Duplicate again, drag and drop the next one. Since I have 25 designs in the end, this is going to give me 25 pages. Now I'm all done, so I'm going to click "Grid view" down here at the bottom. Now I'm presented with all 25 pages. What we're doing now is slightly arranging them, making sure that the order of the images is just as I want them. Once done with that, we're going to be adding the blank pages that are needed in the book that really flesh out the rest of the interior. That's going to be blank pages at the beginning and in-between each image page. To start with, let's add three pages at the very end. I'm just tapping the plus sign here to add three pages. Now I'll go to my first page and I'll click the "New Page" button up here. I'll drag that new page over so that it's first, then start adding a bunch of new ones. I'm going to add four blank pages at the beginning. We have four blank ones at the beginning and three blank ones at the end now. Now I can hover in-between each image and add one blank page in-between each one. You want this exact pattern repeated through the whole book. Image, blank, image, blank, image, blank. Just to reiterate, no matter how many coloring pages you have in your book, you're going to want four blank pages at the beginning and three blank pages at the end. You're also going to want one blank page in-between each of your coloring pages. If you want to add any more pages than what I just showed you, you have to add them in even numbers. If you add one more page, it's going to throw off the pattern of the pages that follow. So add full spreads at a time, that means two pages at once. 25. Unit IV – Interior Title Page: Now, let's work on putting in the necessary items in those beginning and end blank pages. Remember how when I was drawing my coloring pages, I created a couple additional designs of small items to scatter throughout the book, and also a title page graphic. This title page graphic is really just one of the coloring pages in the book, where I put a blank frame over it. You can just erase the center and draw a nice circle or square or decorative frame if you'd like. I always do this in my coloring books because I think it's just a nice way to introduce people to the book when they first open it, but you can just use texts and write your title in here if you'd like as well. To add texts, you just simply come over here to the Text button. I'll hit "Add a Heading" and type in the title of your book. Here, you can then adjust the font, spacing size, whatever. I'll get to how to format text in a minute, but first, I will show you that I've placed that in here as an image. Now, I'll add a subtitle, and this is how the subtitle of my book will be laid out. I'm not drawing that, in hand-lettering this will be a font. With that typed out, I'll come over to my fonts. I already did a lot of browsing of all the free fonts that come with Canva and I picked out this one called Nourd, that I thought looked pretty good with my theme. I'll adjust the size a little bit and get it to look all snazzy and perfect. You should browse around all of the free fonts that exist here. You can sort by handwriting fonts, sans serifs, serif, display fonts, whatever you'd like. It's really actually incredible how many fonts Canva gives you for free. 26. Unit IV – Interior Copyright Page: The next page is boring but also pretty necessary and it's going to be your copyright information page. I already have standard copyright texts that I put into all of my books, so I'm going to paste it in here. Feel free to pause the video and honestly copy my copyright details. I really don't care if you use the same text, but you can also Google copyright page templates and you'll get a lot of good info. Format this a little bit. It definitely doesn't have to be so large. I'm going to make it the same font as the subtitle, but just a lighter version and much smaller. I want to make this left justified because it's going to be the left side of its spread. Then I can adjust the line height and spacing through this spacing menu. I think I'll make the title of the book bold and just a couple of other little adjustments to get this looking a little snazzier. Now I'll add one of my little bonus graphics. I think that this acorn branch is going to look good, but I want it flipped to be the mirror image of itself. The way to do that is to just come up here to the menu bar and hit "Flip Horizontal." Now I'm going to work to resize this and tweak it so that the image is on the left and the copyright info is on the right. This page that typically would be pretty boring is at least look cute. This is the final version that I've ended up with, and it's time to move on to the next page. 27. Unit IV – Interior Intro Page: Now, for the next page, you have a lot of choices. Remember that the next page is going to be the second spread. When people flip pass the title page, this will be the first page if they're really going to look at. This will be on the right hand side of that spread. I drew this additional bonus drawing that says, this book belongs to. But you could type that in yourself if you like this idea of making a little X-libris page. Just add your text, format it. You can add a line here by coming over to Elements and searching the word line. Then you can choose from a bunch of the different options for lines. I like to add this little dotted line. To make it look dotted instead of dashed, I can come over here to the stroke settings and I can make it rounded end points and change the line weight if I'd like. Again, you don't have to create your own image for this. You could put this text in here, but you could also put texts in here, such as about the author or some little text about your inspiration for creating the book. Coming back to grid view, this is going to make it a little bit easier for you to visualize the book's layout. This title page is the first page people see when they open the cover. They turn that page and they'll see copyright info on the left and this book belongs to on the right. Turn the page again and they'll see a blank page on the left and the first coloring page image on the right. Turn the page again, they'll have blank on the left, coloring image on the right, and so on and so forth. Blank coloring page, blank coloring page. So every spread will have blank on the left and coloring page on the right. That also translates to meaning that every coloring page will have a blank page behind it. I do that on purpose, so that the coloring pages can be cut out without sacrificing an image behind it or if someone uses markers or something with heavy ink and it starts to bleed through a bit, it's not going to destroy something that's on the page behind it. 28. Unit IV – Interior End Page: Now, I'm double-clicking on the second to last page. In my case, that's page 55 but it might be a little bit different for you, whatever is the second-to-last page. Here, you can add a lot of stuff. You can add about the author, you can add a conclusion, you could add some cross marketing details about other products that you have or other books you've written. But I'm going to just simply add the little logo for my coloring book in print and I added a little cat this time because that's in keeping with the theme of my coloring book. But you can also consider adding other information like your Instagram handle or a little brief bio about yourself. 29. Unit IV – Export Interior for Print: Now believe it or not, the entire interior of the book is done and we're ready to export it for print. So we'll come up here to hit "Share" and choose Download. Then you want to make sure to select PDF print, not PDF standard, PDF print. We won't select crop marks and bleeds because there are no bleeds in this file but I will choose flattened PDF just in case you have overlapped a lot of images in your file. Then we'll select all pages and hit "Download". Now, I can just save it to my computer hard drive. I always like to open it up so that I can just take a quick peek at the finished PDF. This is a good opportunity to; A, make sure that the page count of your PDF matches the page count of your Canva file so that no pages are missing. Also probably good to proofread everything from your subtitle to your copyright info, to any other place that you've added text. 30. Unit V – Create A Cover Template: Before we can actually design our cover, we need to figure out the size of our cover. We know what the width and height of our book is going to be, but the actual size of the cover is also determined by the width of its spine, which in turn is determined by the number of pages in the book. Over here at the Amazon cover calculator page, which you can find linked in the class description. I'm just going to input everything here. This is a paperback book with black and white interior. White paper, l left to right page turn directions. I'm using inches for mine. If you're using A4 size, you may be using centimeters. Makes sure to select the appropriate interior trim size. Now we input that same page count that was in our Canvas file. For me, that's 56. Now hit calculate dimensions and you're going to see a bunch of overwhelming measurements, all of which you can completely ignore because we're just going to download this template now. I'll save it to the same place that I downloaded my interior. It should come as a zipped folder. I'll just open that. Now inside of this subfolder, I find a PDF version and a ping version. That's the only one we're going to need. I'm actually going to delete the PDF and delete that text file. Too complicated to have multiple files on my computer. I'm just going to keep the PNG file. Here I've opened it up to quickly show you the only information I want you to focus on here is the overall dimensions. Make sure that you notate what these two numbers are for the width and the height. This is the grand total width and height of the complete covers spine, front and back, all included. You need these numbers in our next step. 31. Unit V – Design The Front Cover: I'm back here at the Canva dashboard and I'm going to create another design. I'll hit create design custom size. I'll input inches and now I'm going to type in those width and height dimensions that I just got off of my template file. Next, I'm going to drag and drop that template file into my Canva account so that I can input it into my new cover file. I'll click to place it and then drag it out until it snaps to the full size of my screen. I find it really cumbersome to work with this file in the sense of putting my graphics over top of it so what we're going to do is actually create guides for the most important information here. Come up to file, show rules and guides if yours aren't already showing. Then we're going to drag horizontal rulers from that top ruler bar down. We're just putting horizontal and vertical rulers on the borders of this pink. We'll put two horizontal ones and four vertical ones. This is going to allow us to see that pink border without actually having to have that ugly template in the background the whole time that we're designing. Now I can actually delete this template and I have the guides here that show me those pink areas without having to look at the ugly template while I design. Those pink areas are off-limits areas. The ones around the outer edge are bleeds so they're actually going to be cut off and the ones in the middle are wrapping around the spine so no essential images or text or anything can go in those spaces. I've already imported my colored image, so I'm just going to tap that once to place it. Now, I'll drag it over to the far top right. I know I did say nothing essential can go in those pink areas behind the guidelines but you do still have to cover them. Because if you don't, they will be blank and you'll risk getting thin white borders when your book gets trimmed so I have to throw this up here into the top-right corner, drag it out so that I can resize this to be the full height of my cover. Now, I want the back of the cover to also be the same background color as my front cover so I'm going to come over to elements and hit "Search". Then I'll just type in square. You'll just get a really simple square block here that you can drag. I'm going to make it come slightly overlapping my cover. The reason I'm slightly overlapping it is just so that I don't want to risk even the skinniest little separation showing in between them. To get it to be the same color background as my file, I'm just coming up here to the color swatch, and I'll select the plus sign, which means custom color. Now I can take that eyedropper tool and I can select the background color from my image and magically, the square that we created perfectly matches and blends in with the cover of my illustration. Now let's add the text to our cover. Over here in elements, I'm going to navigate to frames. I'm going to select some type of cute frame, probably something close to the frame that I drew for my title page actually. You have lots of options here, but this ugly sky landscape image is simply Canva's way of telling you that this is a blank box that you can re-color or add anything to it. The first thing I'm going to do is add color. I think I want to add something autumnal like a brown or a dark brown. You can even sample your own image by using the custom color eye dropper and choosing a color from your illustration. Great, I think I like this slightly darker version of that sampled color. Next, of course, you can type in your own title here. But if you recall, I actually drew my own. In case you did as well, and you don't have the ease of editing text right here, let me show you how I re-color this black image so that it's readable on this darker background. Canva doesn't actually make this really easy. This is something that's much easier in a lot of other design software, but I have figured out a hack. If I select my image and come over here to edit image, I need to come to duo tone and say see all. Now I need to select whatever is the lightest looking color here. It doesn't matter what the color is. We're actually going to change it. It just cannot be black anymore so anything that's lighter than black, we're going to change it too. Now, come up here to the adjustments and say see all, and I'm going to blast this brightness all the way up. Blast the contrast all the way up. Mine's already white here, but I'll increase the warmth slightly so it's a creamier white rather than a really stark white. Sometimes I need to blast up the highlights as well, but in this case, I didn't. Now I have this inverted version of my solid black drawing and it nicely pops out. I think I'll increase the warmth slightly more so that it's even creamier looking. Now I have a cute title that really pops off of its dark background. Now I'll throw in my subtitle here. I'll just do this quickly changing the formatting and font to match what I already selected in my title page. I just selected the same color as the background color but I'm going to experiment with choosing another one that pops a little bit more like a yellow or light orange. 32. Unit VI – Design The Back Cover: Now, onto the back cover. I've added my template back here and that's because on the back cover, Amazon is going to add a barcode where this yellow box is. I want to make sure that I don't put any essential information on my back cover in that area because it would just be cut off by the barcode. To make sure that I ignore it, I'm going to add a square over top of it so that it appears like an element while I work. I'll do this by coming over to Elements, searching for square, and adding a square just like we did before. Now I'll resize it to approximately the barcode size. It doesn't have to be exact. I'll turn it white because that's the color that Amazon is going to add. We have to remove this later before we export. I'm going to remind you again, but that's just something that you shouldn't forget. But it's just here now so that we steer clear of it. Just like on a front cover, there are endless opportunities for a back cover. I'm just going to show you one pretty standard template that I like to use for a back cover. People like to see samples of what's inside a book. I like to choose 4-8 pages from my book that I think are a good representation of what's inside, and show them off on the back cover. Here I selected one and I'm going to resize it to be thumbnail size here. Then I'm going to duplicate it, drag it over, duplicate it again so I have a row of three. Holding the Shift key, I'll select all three and I'll hit "Duplicate" again. This will make another row of three. That row of three I can drag down a bit. What I'm thinking is that I'll have these six thumbnails here, and then in-between the two rows will be my back cover text, and in the lower-left corner I'm going to put my logo. Now, notice all of these thumbnails are the same patterns, so I have to add in five different images by just dragging and dropping the five others that I want to show off into the other thumbnail spaces. Now I have six unique images here in two rows, and I'm going to style them a little bit so that they pop off from the background a little bit more and don't blend into that background color. Selecting the first one, I'll come to Edit image and scroll down to find shadows. I'll then select "Drop shadow" and it will be applied to this image. Then I'll just quickly apply it to all the other five. Next, I'll add my logo. I already uploaded a brown version of it. It would be perfectly fine if you uploaded the same black version that you may be put on the interior of your book, or you can use the re-coloring step that I showed you earlier for the title, or you don't even have to put your logo here. You could just put a bit of texts with your URL. Now, let's add some exciting back of book blurb here. Coming over to texts, I'll add a subheading or a heading. It doesn't really matter because I'm going to reformat it. In fact, let me take my subtitle and duplicate it because that already has the right font and everything. I'll drag it over, make it brown, and then I'll type in a header to the back cover. Usually there's a blurb that's underneath like a sub-header or something. You can catch people's attention with the first line and then they'll keep reading to hear more about what's inside the book. Now I'm duplicating my subtitle again. Bringing it over, I'll make it some other contrasting color for now. I actually already wrote the blurb for my book. Sometimes that can be a really tedious process, I know. I already wrote mine and I'm going to copy paste it into here. There you go. I think mine is probably a little bit cheesy, but I'm not going to finesse it anymore. That's fine. I'll just style it so that it looks appropriate in size and color here. Now I'm just finessing all the little last details here, changing up the color, the slightest spacing, all of the little things that are going to make the cover look really polished. Now, we've reached that important moment to delete the barcode box. Very important remember. I'm going to turn off the rulers and guides because they're a bit distracting. There you have it. A nice, beautiful cover. To export it, we'll come again up here to Share, Download. Again, we'll choose the file type PDF print. We don't need crop marks and bleeds because the bleeds are built into this file size. Select "Flattened PDF" and export. Now with the cover and interior completed, it will be time to move on to the uploading and publishing process. 33. Unit VI – Upload and Publish!: Here I am at my KDP dashboard. This is the first thing you'll see when you sign in to your account. I'll click this big Create button to start my book. Then, of course, Create a paperback. Here's where I'll enter all the information from my book. Most of this will be changeable later. However, the book title and subtitle are not changeable. Make sure that you get this right the first time here. Now, in case you're wondering, I keep my book titles short, but you can make your subtitles quite long. I'm going to add for adults and teens, even though that's not printed on my book cover, that's fine. Your subtitle doesn't have to match exactly. It just has to basically match what's on your cover. This is how it will look in Amazon when it's actually published. There'll be a colon that separates the title and subtitle. Coming down here to author name, you can put your actual name here, but I like to sometimes put the name of an imprint that I have for my coloring books. You're actually free with Amazon KDP to use pen names rather freely, but you can read up more about that online if you'd like. Now here I've pasted a description that I already wrote. I'm using the text from the back cover and adding some general details that I usually put in all of my coloring book descriptions. You can see that right now I'm just formatting a little bit, making the subheaders bold, and just adding some bullets to my list. Here, of course, I have a nice call-out title followed by the description from the back of my book. Then a little bit of detail about the level of the book, how difficult or intricate it is. I also explained that you can cut out the pages. They are single-sided. Then share a bunch of book details with the actual specs. A lot of people like to just be able to quickly review the size, the length, etc. I also like to add this little thing about coloring tips. Now, come up here, and I suggest that you read this article about writing your own book descriptions. I found it really helpful with lots of advice about what to do, what not to include, what makes a good book description, etc. Now, of course, we have to tick the box that says that you own the copyright. Down here in keywords, a lot of people will tell you that you need to do a lot of in-depth research to get these keywords right. If your goal is to sell a ton of these, then yeah, you should read a lot of articles about Amazon SEO and really try to figure out the most competitive keywords. I like to keep it simple and essentially put the same keywords you might put if you were making hashtags for Instagram, coloring book for adults, coloring books for grown-ups, fall coloring book, Autumn illustrations, things like that. I always say coloring book for adults and for grown-ups. If it's related to a specific theme or holiday, I'll include that too. Just imagine to yourself, what would I want someone to type into the Amazon search box and have my book pop up. Don't put anything crazy or weird. Don't put your own name, don't put things that are too niche because honestly, nobody is going to be searching Amazon for those things. They're going to be searching more general search terms. If you are interested in really maximizing your Amazon SEO, this tool, Helium 10, is the industry standard. It's where you can do a lot of keyword research and category searching. It offers a free version, but the free version isn't very robust, so I don't recommend getting into this at all unless you really become passionate about selling your books and learning how to get the Amazon SEO to be in your favor. Now that I have my keywords in, it's time to choose categories. There's a very important note that I have to give you here. A, you can only choose two here in the back-end, and B, these are not the Amazon categories. These are the categories that places like the Library of Congress and bookstores nationwide will use to categorize the books. You're very unlikely to find categories here that are really helpful to you. I like to just choose two that are as close as possible. I'll, for example, always into non-fiction and maybe in crafts and hobbies or art. Here I've done non-fiction, art, techniques, drawing, but now will come and make my second one, non-fiction, crafts and hobbies general. In a moment, I'm going to show you how to get your book into Amazon's own categories, which is an important step. Now, our book is not a low content book. You may have heard about Amazon KDP low content book publishing. Coloring books are not considered low content books. Low content books, according to Amazon's definition, are those that have a majority of either blank pages or pages that are identical. For example, journals and day planners. Coloring books have unique images across the whole book, so they are not considered low content books, and of course, my book contains no inappropriate or adult content. I'll check No there and continue. Now, here's where you get to choose whether you're going to use a KDP ISBN. I tend to use those for these coloring books because it's not really important to me to get my book into other distribution channels. This is a nice free method, so you can click Assign an ISBN. In your amazon listing now, the imprint of your book or the publisher will show as independently published. If you want to use your own publication name, like make up a name for your publishing company, or if you have your own publishing company, you'll have to use the Use My Own ISBN option. That means you'll have to buy your own ISBNs. In the United States, Bowker is the place to do this, but I'll warn you that they're not cheap. If this is your first book, I highly suggest that you just publish this with the Amazon KDP. If one day you start your own publishing company and you really get into this, you can always unpublish it and republish it with your own ISBN number. I'm just saying get a free ISBN and move on. I leave publication date optional because I don't need it to be set to some future date. Black and white interior with white paper. Here on trim size, make sure to select a different size and choose the trim size you picked. For me, 8 and 1/2 by 11. We don't need a bleed and I personally like a matte cover. You can come up here and look at this article of what is a cover finish. But for me, I prefer matte because it has this really beautiful, velvet-y texture. There's no glare. The glossy might be nice for a really fun or humorous book or a children's coloring book. But I just find that the matte cover is a little bit more elevated. Now it's time to upload the interior manuscript, so I'll upload that PDF of the interior pages. Once that's done, it's time to move on to the book cover. I always choose the upload a cover you already have option. You can see that Amazon has its own book cover creator. I find it really limiting so that's why I've suggested that you design your own. Now we have to come over here and preview the book. I'll warn you that this can take a long time, sometimes up to five minutes. I'm zooming ahead here. But once it's checked everything in your book, it will either come back here with a big warning to tell you that there's a problem. Don't worry. You can't miss it, it won't let you publish it if there's an error. But here I have no errors. I'm just going to browse through one last time. You can turn on and off the guides if you find them distracting. These just show where the book will be trimmed. I also like to come into thumbnail view and just do a quick look through again. Then if you want to zoom into one, you can just click it and look at it in a more detailed view. Here on the cover, you can see where that ISBN white box went. It's a good thing that we made sure that no essential information would be cut off by it. Now, I will hit Approve. Here under the summary, it's going to show you you're printing cost. This is not the price that you sell it for. This is how much it costs Amazon to make it. Now, this is also the price that you will pay if you order yourself author copies. Remember I said that you only have to pay the actual cost of printing. Amazon doesn't really profit much if you buy your own author copies. You can see that for my 56 page book, $2.15 is really not that much. When we hit Save and Continue, we'll be able to set our own prices and look at what profit we'll make for each book. Now I like to keep this set to all territories because, why not? I have no problems selling this around the world, but you still need to choose your primary marketplace. For me, that's out of the United States, but you may choose a different one. Now, here, you can choose whatever price you want for your book. You can look at what would be competitive. Lots of self-published coloring books on Amazon are really, really inexpensive. I don't try to compete with that. I find that silly. I'll set mine to $8.99. That means I'll earn royalty of $3.24 every time someone buys it. Amazon takes 40 percent of the profit and I get 60 percent. I also make sure to check expanded distribution. You can read a little bit more about what that entails, but it basically means that even more sellers outside of Amazon could pick it up and sell it. Then coming down to my non-primary marketplaces, I can adjust the price per book to just be a little bit more attractive so it doesn't look like it was automatically converted to a different currency. I'll make these all something dot 99, so €8.99, £7.99, etc. Now I can come back and just see the profit that I make in each currency when people buy the book from those other marketplaces, you will be paid in your currency, but Amazon will convert from the foreign currency right before they pay you. Now would be the time before hitting publish to request printed proofs of your book if you want to see how it will look before it's published. These printed proofs have a big watermark on the cover. They're not very attractive looking, they really are proofs. But you can order these very inexpensively now so that you can see a physical copy before you actually push that final Publish button. If I open this here, I can choose the quantity that I order. I can get up to five, and then choose the marketplace of my order and submit that request. You can get super fast shipping on this, but it is sometimes worth it for you to check out the book before it goes live. That'll add about, I'd say a week to the publication process. Once your book goes live, you can never order those proof copies again. It is really important that you do it now if you're going to do it at all. Once you do that, you can come back here to this screen and hit Publish. 34. Unit VI – Publication Next Steps: Right when you hit publish on your bookshelf, you're going to see that your book looks like this. It will say it's in draft mode. Within a day or so that's going to change to saying in review, which simply means that Amazon is checking it before publishing it. Typically it takes 2-4 days in my experience for the book to actually go live and appear as published. Here's how the listing will look once that happens. Now that it's live, I can order author copies, which as opposed to proof copies, these are actually completely finished legitimate books that I could give away to friends or sell. Now I'll just go over some of the settings here. You can always unpublish a print book. This just hides it from Amazon, but it doesn't delete it from your back-end so you could always republish it. You can create a series, for example, if you have a series of coloring books and you want to combine them under a single series heading in Amazon, you can create that now. Edit print book details lets you change things like your book description and keywords and things like that. You just can't change the title, subtitle, or author anymore. Editing the content lets you actually upload a new interior or a new cover, so that's never set in stone. If you ever found a typo for any reason or something like that, you can always update it. Of course you can edit your book pricing here as well. When I come over to view on Amazon, I can look at it on any Amazon page, I will say that usually this appears in the primary market place first and then becomes available in other secondary marketplaces within a day or two after. So don't be worried if right away some of the other marketplaces show it as unavailable. Here's how it looks on the page. I can see that my title, description, everything looks great. I can come over and click on the covers to get magnified views of the front and back. This look inside feature is already active. Sometimes that can take a few days, so don't worry, but it does happen automatically. This doesn't show the entire interior only a small percentage, but you can always reach out to Amazon customer service and ask them to include more or less of the interior in this feature. 35. Unit VI – Add Book to Categories: While this class is not specifically about marketing, in the next video, I'm going to cover some frequently asked questions relating to marketing to get you started. But in this video, I want to show you the one and only thing that I think is really important if you're planning to sell your coloring book, and that is to add your book to Amazon's own internal categories. Remember how we added two categories in the backend before, but I told you that those categories are not specific to Amazon. They're more general. Well, to make your book more findable in Amazon search results, it's pretty important to make sure that Amazon lists them in their appropriate categories. So how do we find these categories? Amazon actually doesn't make it super easy. They don't have some single page that you can go to and browse every category that they offer. They make you work for this part, but it's not actually that hard. Hear I'm going to coloring book that I've already published. If I scroll down here to the product details, I can look at what they're calling the bestsellers rank. My book is not a bestseller. This just means that my book is 521 thousandth in all of Amazon's book buying. However, underneath that, you can see that there are three categories listed. Landscape and seascape art, landscape painting, and activity books. Well, I reached out to Amazon and told them to add my book to the activity books category. I did not tell them to add it to landscape and seascape art or landscape painting. Amazon seems to have done that by themselves through their algorithm understanding based on my title, description, and keyword what might be appropriate categories. That's pretty cool. But like I said, it's important to tell Amazon to add you to the most important ones. So if you go to any book on Amazon that's similar to yours, even if it's simply another coloring book for adults and you come down here to the product details section, you can click on any one of these categories, and get taken to a broader view of that category. It's going to show you a staggered list view of all their categories and subcategories and sub-sub categories. I clicked the activity books category. So I'm taken to this page that shows me that activity books is a subcategory of crafts and hobbies. That itself is a subcategory of crafts, hobbies, and home. If you want to make sure that your book appears in activity books, you're going to write to Amazon, and I'm going to show you how to easily do that in a moment and ask them to add your books to crafts, hobbies, and home, within the crafts and hobbies category, subcategory, activity books. This might seem a little cumbersome, but go through and do this a little bit, find three to five or seven or eight categories that you think are really appropriate for your book. I'll show you the ones that I always add in just a moment. But first, in order to reach out to Amazon, we're just going to need to know the identifier number of our book. If I come back here to the books product page, under product details, I can see the ASIN number, which is Amazon's ID number for the book, as well as the ISBN number, which is the more general or international identifier. Well, you can use either of these when you contact Amazon, I'm going to copy the ASIN number for my reference, but amazon understands if you use either one. So with ASIN copied, I'll come back over to my KDP dashboard and click Help. Now I'll scroll all the way down to the bottom left side and click Contact Us. I told you amazon hides this a little bit, but once you know the trick, it's really easy. Now come to the very first option, Amazon store and product details and then update Amazon categories. All you're going to do is follow their own instructions. I usually say something like, Hi, Amazon, I would like to add more categories to my book listing. Now here you have to just paste in that ASIN or ISBN number. You have to tell them the primary marketplace minus You let them know your book is paperback and then remove this category option. I never tell them that. I just start by telling them these three bits of information. I don't want my book removed from n categories, so I'm going to delete this second part. Now, here is simply where I paste in my list of the categories that I always use. Every time I release a coloring book, I write to Amazon and I ask them to add the book to these three categories, at least. Then if the book has a specific theme or something that feels like it should go in another category, I will sometimes do my research and ask them to add it to that as well. Amazon is so timely with this. Very often in under 24 hours they write to me and say, great, we've added the categories. It's really truly that simple. For me it's absolutely mandatory step if you want your book to be findable in Amazon search results and your goal is really to sell it. 36. Unit VI – Amazon Marketing FAQs: Now, I'm going to cover what I think are most likely going to be your most frequently asked questions when it comes to selling and marketing. As I've said, teaching the ins and outs of Amazon marketing is a course unto itself and there are lots of great resources out there. I'm not getting into that here, but I know that they're going to be some very specific questions and I want to head them off now. First of all, sale prices. With self-published KDP books, you cannot put your book on sale. However, sometimes KDP books do get put on sale like this one of mine here. Amazon themselves made that decision. Sometimes they randomly put books on sale because they think that it's a way of promoting it more to their audience, making more sales. That's great because the good news is that it doesn't come out of your profits. That decreased price comes out of Amazon's profits, not yours. So it's a win-win. You make the same amount of money, the customers pay less, you're more likely to sell your book. The next is about adding more images. You may see that some books that sell on Amazon have more images over here under the Thumbnail view. Those books are traditionally published ones, not self-published. Amazon doesn't allow you to add additional photos here in self-published books. However, you can add images down below in what's called the From the Publishers section. This area is actually fully customizable. You can put banners, groups of images, about the author info, paragraphs of texts, all sorts of stuff. It's easy to do through your dashboard. You'll just come up here to Marketing and scroll down to A+ Content. I would highly suggest that you read these articles, especially getting started with A+ Content, but really all of them so you can get a grasp of what's possible, what's recommended, etc. The next question I anticipate is probably how you get your About the Author section. Lots of books including self-published ones, include a little area with an author bio, sometimes a logo or a photo, and an additional page that is called the Author Profile page. Here is where people will see all of your books. They'll be able to browse through all of them. They'll be able to read a little bit about you and they can even find things like your URL and your blog. Again, this is very simple. Simply come over to the Marketing section and select "Author Central" right here. You have to choose your primary marketplace, but once you do, there's a nice article here to explain even more to you about how it works in different marketplaces, etc. Basically, you just choose your primary marketplace and you set up your Author page. I already have one, not just for this little, fun, coloring book side project that I do, but also for my main Author page. I write a lot of other books, more serious ones. That is under my own name, Molly Suber Thorpe. Let me show you that one. This is the back-end. Other people don't see this. But if I come over to Profile, here's where I can actually edit the information that's on my Amazon page. I can also see the books that are linked with my page. Some of these are traditionally published books by publishers, not self-published, but I still am able to link them here because the author name matches my Author's Central account name. If you're looking to dive in even further to the marketing side of things, I've included some links to get you started in the Class Resources section. 37. The Big Reveal (Time to Celebrate!): Here we are a few days later and I just received two copies that I ordered in the mail. I thought I would go through them with you, show you the quality, the size, all of that, so that hopefully you can get excited about getting your own book. You remember we picked out a Matte cover and I said that that doesn't have glare, but it does have a nice coating. It is really nice and smooth. It feels very velvety to the touch and I don't know, I really like it. I think it's very high-quality feeling. This is the size of the spine. Remember that my book was 56 pages, so pretty skinny. The paper has a nice thickness to it. When we open it up, we get that nice cover page we made together. We get to see our copyright page in print. This nice, cute [inaudible] page we designed. Then our coloring pages. These are looking really sweet, really good. Here's how that vegetable page that we made turned out. Very crisp, nice lines, very simple. You can see that I just completed this coloring page in marker, and I want to point out that when I turn the page, just to show you the quality of the paper, it does not bleed through to the other side. In some of these places, I actually doubled or tripled up the marker and it's still didn't go through. I know that's something that people wonder, but I'm just showing you here, I use full-on markers. Some of them even low-quality kids markers, and they did not bleed through to the other side. 38. Now Share Your Work!: [MUSIC] Thank you so much for participating in this class. I hope you have as much fun making and publishing your own coloring book as I do. I know I'm not the only one who would love to see what you've created, so please share snapshots of your bookmaking process, even if it's unfinished in the project section of this class. Tell us what you plan to do with your book. Are you planning to sell it? Give it as gifts? What was your inspiration? Do you plan to make more? I'm so excited to see what you've designed. As always, you can ask me questions here or follow my work for announcements of future classes and resources. I have a big toolkit of free lettering practice sheets which you can access at, and a lot of other learning resources available on my website. I look forward to meeting you in the comments. [MUSIC]